IAF successfully test fires aerial version of BrahMos

Indian Air Force is set to pack more punch in its striking power as decks have been cleared to integrate Brahmos cruise missile with its Su-30MKI fighter jets.

On Wednesday a Su-30 MKI took-off from a base in southern India and accurately hit a land-based target after flying its full range of 300 km, setting the ball rolling to operationalise the air force version of the missile developed through a joint venture between India and Russia.

The Brahmos missile, after being gravity dropped from the fighter’s fuselage, flew towards the designated land target set at the Car Nicobar Island and hit it with 'bull’s eye precision', say top officials who witnessed the launch.

Currently, 11 warships of Indian Navy are fitted with the Brahmos cruise missile whereas Army has three regiments of the cruise missile and talks are on for a fourth regiment. With the IAF set to be having Brahmos in its arsenal, India becomes the first and only country in the world to complete a supersonic cruise missile triad.

The successful test was undertaken in the presence of senior IAF officials along with top DRDO and BrahMos Aerospace scientists and engineers.

Another firing is expected within a month after which the missile with 300 km range would be ready for use in the IAF.

The 2.5-ton supersonic missile with a velocity of 2.8 Mach was first fired on a sea-based target from a Su-30 MKI on November 22 in the Bay of Bengal.

“The IAF requirement was one test on a sea-based target and another on a land-based target. We will carry out one more test before the missile is ready for operational use in the IAF. The last test is expected within a month,” sources in the Brahmos Aerospace told DH.

IAF plans to equip 40 aircraft with the Brahmos missile. While two aircraft now carry the weapon, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited began jerry-rigging another four Su-30MKI to equip them with Brahmos missile. IAF hopes to receive all the 40 aircraft from HAL by 2020.

 

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